I'm not quite sure where this is going. I guess I'm just going to write out whatever comes to mind.


3. Touch

I found myself reluctantly standing around in the cafeteria just before 6, awkwardly slouched in a chair as if waiting for the doctor to call me out of the waiting room. I glanced at the clock and found that it was just after 6.I would give Jamie another 2 minutes before I would go back to my room and forget this craziness. Just as I was about to give up waiting, a hand gently touched my shoulder. Jamie smiled down at me, looking nonchalant as always. 

"Ready to get your skate on?" He asked, and I nodded slightly. Truth be told, I hadn't been roller skating since elementary school, and I wasn't sure if I remembered how. The evening held promise of me making a total fool of myself, but for some reason, Jamie's smile reassured me. 

He led me out to a van filled with his friends, chattering along the way. I listened quietly to his goofy retelling of his day until we reached the vehicle, and a feisty looking woman opened the door.

"Hey hot stuff! Get that cute patooty in here! Oh, you brought your girlfriend? Nice!" she yelled. I tried to speak up to discount it, but Jamie beat me to it.

"Nah, we aren't dating. At least, yet. I just thought she would really fit in here!" he explained, leaving me whirling at the implication that we would date in the future. He pulled me into the van with him, and I ended up squished between him and the rambunctious girl. She was somewhat buff, and her hair was pulled up in dreadlocks on top of her head in a messy bun. Her multiple piercings reflected the light of the van when she smiled, which seemed to be all the time. I gave her a small smile in return.

"Guys, this is Sophia!" Jamie introduced me to his friends, and I gave a small wave. He gestured to his friends, introducing them to me as he pointed.

"This is Nora," he said, pointing to the woman at my side. She shook my hand and gave me a 'pleased to meet cha!' with a wild, contagious smiles. She was somewhat buff, and her hair was pulled up in dreadlocks on top of her head in a messy bun. Her multiple piercings reflected the light of the van when she smiled, which seemed to be all the time. I gave her a small smile in return.

"And up front are Riley and Jen," he motioned towards the driver's seat and front passenger. Riley was one I could recognize from my art classes, and seemed to be almost as quiet as me. He was rather tall and lanky, slouched in his driver's seat. Despite his shyness, he gave me a small smile and wave. Jen, who I could recognize as his girlfriend, also gave me a pleasant smile. I was rather envious of her feminine beauty, her long pink hair being the icing on the cake.

Since I'd been introduced to everyone, Riley started the engine and started the short drive to the skating rink. It was nearly identical to the one I had frequented as a child, giving me an intense feeling of nostalgia that brightened my weary mood. This group of friends seemed to be rather kind, putting me at ease.

I laced up my skates and Jamie grabbed me by the hand, wheeling me off to the skating floor. I could see Riley trying not to flail as Jen patiently pulled him along, smiling lovingly at his clumsiness. I felt pretty shaky on wheels myself, but like riding a bike it soon came back to me, and I started to speed up, feeling smooth and graceful on my skates. I smiled, enjoying weaving around slower people in an easy, lazy way. Jamie was close behind, watching me with a face I didn't fully comprehend. 

He soon caught up to me, and was about to say something when an announcement came over the intercom, asking everyone who didn't want to race to clear the floor. He looked at me, an impish twinkle to his eye.

"Wanna race?" he asked gleefully, and I responded with a wicked grin of my own. 

"Get ready to eat my dust!" I taunted, and quickly skated off to the starting line with him following with an amused laugh. Nora, of course, waited at the starting line with a couple of other showy students. We got ready, and when we were set, the skating rink worker yelled for us to go.

I was off like a bullet, feeling free as I sped off around the rink. My slight frame worked to my advantage as I squatted low to take the curve, arching out my leg to do so gracefully. I felt very much in my element, nearly as if I were in a painting frenzy. I finished the lap and heard cheering-- I was at least a full 5 feet ahead of Nora, the closest second. I gave a crooked grin to her, and she pulled me in close to give my head a friendly noogie. 

"I didn't know you could skate like that, kiddo! Let's make a roller derby team!" she cackled, and I laughed. 

"I'm fast, not strong," I said to turn the offer down, and Jamie skated up, distracting Nora by tapping her on the shoulder then grabbing me by the wrist and helping me abscond.

"That was awesome! Who knows what other cool talents you're hiding from us?" he teased, and I smiled, wrinkling my nose with humor. 

"I'm not that talented. Just fast," I said, shrugging. He shook his head at me, muttering something under his breath about false modesty, to which I playfully slugged him in the shoulder. The evening was proving to be rather nice. I never expected to come out of my shell so easily. No one had ever taken that first step to me before, but now that Jamie had, I felt as if I were becoming complete. The feeling was warm and fuzzy, like a favorite blanket, and I couldn't get enough. Having friends right in front of me, to hang out with and joke with, was a blessing I wasn't about to take for granted.

With those happy thoughts in mind, I smiled genuinely at Jamie. "Is there anything after skating that you guys usually do?" I asked, not wanting to invite myself along, but hoping I wouldn't be left out.

"We usually go out to dinner, if you wanted to join. You one the race, so you get to choose!" he explained, and I thought for a moment.

"I think a hamburger sounds awesome," I said, and he nodded. "Hamburgers it is!" he said, and led me off to the others, who readily agreed to food, after a few more laps. 

As I leisurely skated with Jamie, I couldn't help but wonder if the warmth he had brought me showed on my face.


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